Paratha Indian Unleavened Flat Bread

paratha

For years I have enjoyed eating Paratha’s (unleavened flat breads) at festivals, weddings, and other devotee gatherings, but have never actually learned how to cook them. So this weekend I took out the Indian Cookbooks and found a nice recipe and fried some up, and offered them to the Lord. They were easy to prepare, and very delicious.

They can also be stuffed and we will explore this option in a later post.

The following recipe I found on the Internet at tarladala.com, and the images are not mine but also gathered online. Also in this post is addition information on the history of Paratha’s.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
salt to taste
1 tsp oil or ghee
whole wheat flour for rolling
melted ghee for brushing and cooking

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a semi-soft dough using enough water.
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.

Roll each portion into a 125 mm. (5″) diameter circle, using a little whole wheat flour for rolling, brush with melted ghee, fold into half to form a semi- circle.

Brush the semi-circle with melted ghee and fold again to form a triangle.

Roll out into a 125 mm. (5″) length triangular paratha using a little whole wheat flour for rolling.

Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook each paratha on both the sides, using a little ghee, till brown spots appear on both the sides.

Repeat steps 3 to 6 to make 5 more parathas.

Serve hot with fresh curds.

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Krishna Prasadam

Krishna prasadam

On our previous post I was searching the “Letters Books”, and just got caught up in reading…I began reading letters about offering prasadam, cooking for the Lord, and why we do not eat meat, etc. which spurred this collection of quotes on Krishna Prasadam.

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter of May 31, 1968, which is duly in hand. I had not heard anything from you in long time, so I was very glad to hear that you are doing well. I am pleased to hear that you have so nicely installed the Jagannatha Deities at your home, and that you are worshiping Them regularly with nice offerings of prasadam, incense and flowers, and also saying prayers before Them. That is very good. Please continue chanting and reading Srimad-Bhagavatam before the Deity, and you will progress nicely. (Letter to: Krsna Devi, 13 June, 1968)

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The Higher Taste

The Higher Taste

This is a nice little cookbook, with information on vegetarian cooking, health, nutrition, cow protection, bhakti yoga, etc. We offer it as a free download which you can view, print or save to your computer by following the link below:

click on link to veiw or download book; The Higher Taste

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Milk, the Miracle Food

Milk

…Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk

…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)

Full Text and Purport More

The Importance of Milk, Yogurt, Grains & Ghee

Milk, yogart, grains and gee

The inhabitants of the village brought to the Deity of Gopāla as much food grains, ghee, yogurt and milk as they had in their village. (Cc. Madhya 4, 93)

…We should understand that in order to prepare nutritious food, we require only grains, ghee, yogurt and milk.

..Anna, ghṛta, dadhi and dugdha are food grains, ghee, yogurt and milk. Actually these are the basis of all food. Vegetables and fruits are subsidiary. Hundreds and thousands of preparations can be made out of grains, vegetables, ghee, milk and yogurt.

…People are often frustrated with national food policies, but from the Vedic scriptures we find that if there are sufficient cows and grains, the entire food problem is solved.

…Cows are the most important animal because they produce the miracle food, milk, from which we can prepare ghee and yogurt. (from purport)

Full Text and Purport More

Pumpkin Pie (Eggless)

eggless pumpkin pie

Today in the West people are celebrating “Thanksgiving”. So we are posting a traditional Thanksgiving recipe; Pumpkin Pie (without the eggs). I have been making eggless pumpkin pies for the last 38 years, and have tried many different variations. I use 2 tablespoons of sour cream instead of 2 eggs, and one year I used Philadelphia cream cheese instead of evaporated milk, all with good success.

By the way, this year Thanksgiving falls on Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans), so we will be offering our pumpkin pie with a nut crust.

If you want to do everything yourself, there is the do it yourself recipe for a “homemade” pie crust, pumpkin puree, spicing, sweetened whipped cream, and a pecan nut crust. There is also the more generic recipe with purchased ingredients. (both options follow)

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Prasadam; The Lords Mercy

Krishna Prasadam, The Lords Mercy

Prasadam
How to Prepare and Offer Food

Food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes completely spiritualized. Such food is called Krishna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krishna.”

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam…”now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore, it should be understood that the spiritual nectar of Krishna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Krishna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma. He also states, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.”

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Offering Food to the Lord

Srila Prabhupada taking prasadam

…For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Vande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Letter to Harer Nama May 28, 1968)

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Why Be Vegetarian?

Great Vegetarians

…On the spiritual path, there are several reasons why a person is recommended to be vegetarian. One primary reason is that we need to see the spiritual nature within all living beings, and that includes the animals and other creatures as well. Universal brotherhood means nonviolence to both humans and animals. It consists of understanding that animals also have souls. They are alive, conscious, and feel pain. And these are the indications of the presence of consciousness, which is the symptom of the soul.

…Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, asked, “How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He went on to say, “I personally believe that as long as human beings will go shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.”

…The Buddhist scripture (Sutta-Nipata 393) also advises: “Let him not destroy or cause to be destroyed any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.” It is also said in the Buddhist scripture, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”

Why Be Vegetarian?
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

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Health Consciousness/Standard Devotee Diet

Once when Srila Prabhupada saw what was being served to the devotees, lavishly prepared multi-course lunches, he told the managers that it was too opulent. He said we should eat simply during the week with rice, dhal, chapatis and a little subji and once a week on the Sunday love feasts we could be more lavish. Today with more of us becoming Health Conscious, it is good to remember the very simple devotee diet that was recommended to us so long ago.

Standard Devotee Diet

Srila Prabhupada recommended a standard diet for the devotees, and instructed that all of the temples should follow it every day. That menu follows:

BREAKFAST:

Simple farina cereal with nuts and raisins
Milk (steaming hot), or yogurt in the summertime
Chick peas (raw, soaked overnight)
Ginger root (raw)
Oranges, apples and/or bananas

LUNCH:

Rice
Chapatis
Dal made with freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices
Subji made with ghee, freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices

BEFORE TAKING REST:

Milk (steaming hot)
Bananas

For a free download of the Hare Krishna Cookbook on pdf More

Kṛṣṇa Prasādam; The Lord’s Mercy

…By development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord.

…After cooking is finished and when it is offered to the Deity, then you take as much as you like, as much as you like. So that means there is God consciousness, that “This thing is being cooked for the Lord.” The cooking will go on. If you don’t think of God, you require cooking because you want to eat. The cooking is there in the program. But if you think that this cooking is done for God, then your God consciousness is there. The cooking you cannot avoid. As a householder you have to cook for yourself, you have to cook for your children, you have to cook for somebody else or for your own self. Just like I am cooking. I have no here family or children, but I am cooking for myself. So cooking you cannot stop. But if you cook with the understanding that “This foodstuff is being cooked for the Lord. The Lord may be offered first; then we shall take,” this is God consciousness. This is God consciousness. But is it very difficult thing? Anyone can accept this.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 04-01-66, New York)

…So on the higher platform, there is nothing material when everything is accepted in relationship with Krishna or the Supreme Spirit.

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1970’s Devotee Cookbook

Ran across this fine devotee cookbook on the Sampradaya Sun this morning, and thought we should share it with our readers. The recipes did in fact remind us of the early “love feasts”, and devotee diet in the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. Very Nice!

1970’s Devotee Cookbook
BY: SUN STAFF
Aug 02, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) —

The following cookbook manuscript, which contains a wonderful collection of vintage Hare Krsna recipes, was handed to us several years ago by a devotee, who’d been carrying an old photocopy of it around for many years. While the manuscript doesn’t bear the author’s name, we’re told that it was likely compiled in the early 1970’s by Revatinanda dasa.

A bit of the text was illegible, but the manuscript is reproduced below. Obviously the cookbook was written while Srila Prabhupada was still physically present. Judging from the language and recipes, our best guess is that it’s circa 1972-73. The recipes will be pleasurably familiar to devotees who remember the wonderful prasadam pastimes in ISKCON temples during the ‘early days’.

Devotee Cookbook

“This is a very limited presentation of recipes for prasadam offerings that I have become practiced in preparing over the last few years. The ingredients and basic techniques used in the preparations are according to parampara tradition. Whether the details are as Srila Prabhupada would have exactly instructed, I do not know, but I have experienced on many occasions that He has been pleased by some of these exact preparations. Also I have experienced that devotees especially, and usually karmies (non-devotees) as well, are very much attracted by my preparations. For these reasons – to increase the attractiveness of our offerings to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and to increase the satisfaction of both the devotees and karmies with the prasadam they take to purify their existence – I have prepared this small cook-book. It is simply an offering of one devotee’s experience in the matter of prasadam preparation.

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Sweet Stuffed Puri

While I was visiting the Prabhupada News web site the other day, I saw this extraordinary image of a Stuffed Puri and following recipe. I thought I would wait until after Ekadasi to re-post it.

Sweet Stuffed Puri
By Joline
Stockholm, Sweden

Puri is a whole wheat bread. This is a recipe especially popular among kids.
Makes 10.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter/ghee
Oil or ghee to deep fry

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The Case Against Animal Slaughter


The Case Against Animal Slaughter
Back to Godhead Magazine 1976, Vol 11, No. 1

From the standpoints of health, economics and ethics, animal slaughter and meat-eating are detrimental to human society.

Health

Although meat is certainly a source of concentrated protein it is a very poor source of other food elements like minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. In addition, eating flesh from the cow or any other animal is detrimental to the health of human beings for many reasons. For example, if a human, who has a much longer colon than the carnivorous animals, eats flesh, the following problems will ensue:

1. Intestinal bacteria in the long bowel will change from fermentative to putrefactive, thus causing poisons to be absorbed into the bloodstream. These poisons need to be eliminated, so energy is diverted from other essential bodily functions, including thinking.

2. The natural synthesis of vitamin B12 will be inhibited, possibly leading to anemia.

3. Animal toxins will tend to disrupt the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. This can cause diabetes.

4. Nonnutritive substances resulting from the digestion of animal flesh tend to be carcinogenic (cancer-inducing) irritants.

The minimum daily requirement of protein, which nutritional experts calculate to be between seventy and ninety grams, is easily achieved with dairy products and foods from the vegetable kingdom. Protein, is found in ample quantity in milk, cheese, yogurt, whole wheat, corn, many varieties of nuts and beans, and some vegetables. Thus vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products provide a perfectly balanced diet. Consuming animal flesh, on the other hand, results in excess protein, which produces liver ailments, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.

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Basic Chapati Recipe

From The Hare KRSNA Cookbook 1972

Basic Chapati
1 cup Whole Weat Flour
1/4 cup Melted Butter
Warm water

Mix the flour and water together, adding water gradually until dough is soft but not wet, and can be kneaded. Knead the dough until it’s fairly soft (8 to 10 minutes). Cover and let dough rest for one hour. Sprinkle flour on rolling area and makes 1-1/2 inch balls out of dough. Flatten balls and roll out to about 4-5″ diameter. Place the chapati on a heated skillet (dry, free from oil) and cook until bubbles appear. Turn chapati quickly and let cook until bubbles appear again. Using tongs, remove chapati from pan, and hold over an open flame or burner to make it puff up. Heat it first on the side that was first cooked. You can lay directly on the burner for a brief moment, but don’t let it stick. When chapati puffs up, turn quickly and repeat on other side till it puffs. Remove, butter both sides, and cover with a clean cloth to keep in heat while remaining chapatis are cooked.

Pasted from; http://www.harekrsna.com/practice/prasadam/recipes/breads.htm

The Hare Krishna Cookbook (Free PDF Download)

click on link at bottom to download entire book in pdf format

The Hare Krsna Cookbook
1973 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Compiled by Krsna devi dasi and Sama devi dasi

“The Hare Krsna Cookbook”, originally published in 1973, was the first widely distributed book of vegetarian recipes, throughout the Movement. This was the book myself and many early devotees learned to cook from, and remains today my all time favorite cookbook, and is a constant companion in our kitchen. We offer the complete book on a PDF Format as a gift to all our readers this Holiday Season.

Dedication

Prasadam means mercy, and this Prasadam Cookbook is dedicated to the fountainhead of all mercy, the spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is by nature kind to every living entity, but that ocean of mercy becomes fully visible in his devotees.

Srila Prabhupada has not given us some dry, canned philosophy to chew; he has given us the nectar for which we have sought so long: he has taught us how to render transcendental loving service to the Lord in all our daily activities. This book illustrates on of them.

The Process of Krsna Consciousness is usually described as one of dinging, dancing and feasting. We have already demonstrated to the world how anyone can sing and dance to the holy names of God, Hare Krsna, and now, with the publication of this Prasadam Cookbook, we hope that the whole world will feast in honor of the Supreme Lord. That will make this world like Vrndavana, the transcendental abode of Krsna, where Krsna, Balarama and the monkeys visit every kitchen with thieving intend and bless the devotees with pure love of God. (Dedication from The Hare Krsna Cookbook)

Dwonload PDF Format 5.6MB The Hare KRSNA Cookbook

Srila Prabhupada’s Transcendental Sweetness and Beauty

Srila Prabhupada with Yamuna Devi

As many of you already know, Her Grace Yamuna devi dasi, one of the first disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, departed on the morning of the auspicious day of Saphala Ekadasi. She is well-known for her glorious contributions to the Iskcon society and the world at large. She has authored many fine award winning books on Vegetarian cooking, and is famous as a kirtan leader, and for her beautiful singing of the Govindam Adipurusham prayers that we hear and chant daily in all of the Hare Krishna Centers throughout the world. We offer her our respectful obiesances.

The following is a Presentation to the GBC, on “Women in ISKCON”, March 2000

Srila Prabhupada’s Transcendental Sweetness and Beauty
Presentation by Yamuna devi dasi

What a week of Vaisnava sadhu-satsanga this has been! I leave the richer, having exchanged with my family members, old and new, Godbrothers, Godsisters, nephews and nieces. While I feel most unqualified to speak to you today, I am honoured and privileged to join my Godsisters in voicing my concerns as a woman in ISKCON.

As the GBC body, all of you are responsible for establishing Srila Prabhupada’s legacy, which, in these difficult and turbulent times, is at stake. One realm of that legacy – the rapport Srila Prabhupada established with his Vaisnavi disciples – is the topic of our discussion today, because over the years since his disappearance it has been largely forgotten. Perhaps my personal service and association with him, along with his later guidance and instructions, offer some insights in this area.

As a strong and independent young woman I met Srila Prabhupada in 1966 and took initiation in 1967. Had Srila Prabhupada demanded conformity to orthodox roles for women as a condition of surrender, I, along with many of my Godsisters, would probably not have joined ISKCON. That he did not is testament to his spiritual vision. He lovingly encouraged and engaged us in the service of the sankirtana movement, and he consistently revealed himself to be panditah sama-darsinah – equal to all.

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Vegetarian Health and Nutrition

Vegetarian Health and Nutrition
From the book “The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking”
By Adiraja Dasa

“Can a vegetarian diet improve or restore health? Can it prevent certain diseases?

Advocates of vegetarianism have said yes for many years, although they didn’t have much support from modern science until recently. Now, medical researchers have discovered evidence of a link between meat-eating and such killers as heart disease and cancer, so they’re giving vegetarianism another look.

Since the 1960s, scientists have suspected that a meat-based diet is somehow related to the development of arteriosclerosis and heart disease. As early as 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association said: “Ninety to ninety-seven percent of heart disease can be prevented by a vegetarian diet.” Since that time, several well-organized studies have scientifically shown that after tobacco and alcohol, the consumption of meat is the greatest single cause of mortality in Western Europe, the United States, Australia, and other affluent areas of the world.

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Eggless Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Eggless Pumpkin Pie


Eggless Pumpkin Pie Recipe
By: Divine Taste

This recipe called for freshly-ground whole allspice berries. Since I didn’t have them on hand, I substituted it with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and dry ginger.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
• 140 gm (1 cup) unbleached plain flour
• 1/3 cup cold butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 5-7 tablespoons cold water

For the filling

• 2 cups (500 ml) Pumpkin puree
• 400g, 1 1/4 cups, sweetened condensed milk
• 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
• 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• 3/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 1/2 tsp ginger powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare the crust:

Mix the flour with the salt and cut the cold butter into the flour using a pastry blender or with your fingers until you get coarse breadcrumbs. Alternatively, combine the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process with 12-15 short bursts until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Put in the cold water and form into a soft dough. Do not handle the dough more than required at this stage. Gather the dough into a ball and chill well for an hour or two. Place the dough on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to a circle, approximately 12″ in diameter to line a 22.5cm (9-inch) pie dish or tart pan with removable bottom. Prepare the edges and chill while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:
For the pumpkin puree:

Cut the pumpkin into wedges. Scoop out the seeds, pith and fibre with the help of a spoon. Pre heat the oven to 350F/180C/4G. Place the pumpkin wedges cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife. Scoop flesh out of the skins and puree with a hand blender or mash well by hand.

To make the pie:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/390 F. In a bowl, mix in the pumpkin puree, condensed milk,  cornflour, spices and salt and beat until there are no lumps. Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and level with the help of a palette knife. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filling is set and the top crust is a nice golden brown. Allow to cool, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or sweetened yogurt.

Pasted from http://www.divinetaste.com/archives/eggless-pumpkin-pie/

Advaita Acarya Invites Lord Caitanya Home

Today being Thanksgiving, we decided to post a story of one of the “Most Famous Feasts” in recent Vaisnava history, cooked by the wife of Advaita Acarya, Sita. Followed by the song composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, “Prasada-sevya part 2″ honoring this event.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Stay at the House of Advaita Acarya
Madhya 3, Text 38-136

Advaita Ācārya said, “You have been fasting continuously for three days in Your ecstasy of love for Kṛṣṇa. I therefore invite You to My home, where You may kindly take Your alms. Come with Me to My residence.”

Advaita Prabhu continued, “At My home I have just cooked one palmful of rice. The vegetables are always very simple. There is no luxurious cooking-simply a little liquid vegetable and spinach.”

Saying this, Śrī Advaita Ācārya took the Lord into the boat and brought the Lord to His residence. There Advaita Ācārya washed the feet of the Lord and was consequently very happy within.

All the eatables were first cooked by the wife of Advaita Ācārya. Then Śrīla Advaita Ācārya personally offered everything to Lord Viṣṇu.

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Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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